USA upsets Mexico and wins three team titles at Pan American Games

The USA’s recurve women’s gold medal-winning team at Santiago 2023.

US squads went three for four in gold medal matches on Saturday morning at the Pan American Games, winning both recurve and the compound women’s team titles in Santiago.

Only the compound men’s team title slipped away, Kris Schaff and Sawyer Sullivan losing to defending individual Pan American Games Champion Roberto Hernandez and Douglas Nolasco of El Salvador, 158-156.

(The compound team titles at this multisport event were contested by pairs rather than the traditional three archers.)

The US recurve men, led by two-time Olympic team silver medallist Brady Ellison, were a favourite in their final against Mexico – and it showed as they hit two sets of 58 en route to a four-set victory to reclaim a title last won in 2011.

But the women were heavy underdogs.

Despite the big-event experience of their top-seeded opponents, it was the women from Mexico who looked flustered.

Casey Kaufhold, Catalina Gnoriega and Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez took advantage of a Mexican six from youngster Angela Ruiz in the first set and a seven from veteran Aida Roman in the third to edge ahead in both and win the match in three, 5-1.

“Today we shot really well as a team. We communicated well and made good shots. We blocked out the pressure and most importantly, we had fun,” said Kaufhold.

This marks the second straight Pan American Games where the USA has upset Mexico to the recurve women’s team title.

“I’m hoping to carry this winning feeling into tomorrow for mixed team and individuals,” she continued.

There’s more to come from this US-Mexico rivalry in Santiago. Kaufhold and Alejandra Valencia enter the final four of the individual competition as first and second seeds tomorrow morning.

The USA has now won the recurve women’s team event nine and the men’s team gold medal 10 of the 12 times they have been contested.

Alexis Ruiz and Olivia Dean collected the States’ third team title of the morning in another upset over the vaunted Colombian duo of Sara Lopez and Alejandra Usquiano. Ruiz and Dean shot a perfect, 160-point match to win by seven.

Ruiz, Lopez and Usquiano will compete for the compound women’s individual title when competition continues this afternoon at the Pan American Games.

Team winners: 2023 Pan American Games

  • Recurve men team: USA
  • Recurve women team: USA
  • Compound men team: El Salvador
  • Compound women team: USA